Are you looking for a way to strengthen your bond with your children? It’s not always easy, but it can be done! Communication is the foundation for having a stronger relationship with your kids. Opening the lines of communication and keeping them open is the key to parenting success.
There are two times during parenting that this becomes more challenging.
- When they are older and start to pull away for independence.
- When they have already lost trust & respect.
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Here are five ways to communicate better with your children
1. Unplug from the rest of the World.
As a stay at home, homeschooling, work at home mom I realize it’s easy to get caught up in work or day to day stress. Find time to completely unplug from the rest of the world and give your kids your undivided attention. Play a board game, cards or just sit and color or make a craft with them. Completely unplugged, which means turn your phone completely off or put it in another room. Checking your phone all the time is not putting them as the priority. Kids need to know that they have your complete attention and that you want to be with them and only them. They will pick up on the slightest hint of disconnect within you.
2. Talk to them, not at them.
You might want to lecture your kids, but it’s important to hear things from their side. Ask them what they think they could have done differently in a certain situation or how could they react differently next time. It’s key to do this instead of just telling them what they did wrong every time. Think about every moment as a teachable moment for you and them. More training less scolding goes a long way when trying to build your relationship and train them up too.
3. Let them know they can talk to you about anything.
It’s important for your kids to know that you’re always there to listen to whatever they have to say without judgment. Be a safe place for them to vent and release their problems. It’s okay to not have the answer or the solution but to just hear them out and truly listen to your kids. The more you listen without judgment the more they will come to you and soon they will feel like it’s safe to tell you most anything.
4. Ask them questions.
Asking your kids how their day went or what’s troubling them is a great way to encourage them to confide in you about what’s going on in their lives. It also lets them know you care. Try to ask different questions, not in a nosy way, but just to spark up a conversation. Small talk is where ice is broken and bonds are built. What was your favorite part of today? What did you eat that you loved? What is your favorite thing to do with me? Keep it fun and light.
5. Set aside time to disciple.
It may be over dinner, before bed or during the car ride home. The important thing is to make sure that you and your children get one-on-one time with each other to talk about God. Don’t just talk TO your kids talk WITH them and really listen to what they have to share. Talking to each child one-on-one is best, but if you have to you can have a family chat. This is when we do a heart check. Check to see what their spiritual temperature is. As people, it is our nature to build walls and put fences up to self-preserve. Kids can become hard-hearted quickly, it’s our job as parents to make sure they stay tender hearted and open to God and to us.
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These are just five ways to communicate better with your children. You can try them and see what works for you and what doesn’t. You might need to make modifications, based on how your children respond. It’s all part of the learning and growing process.
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- 10 Tips to Parenting Success
- 14 Gospel Parenting Principles
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- Raising Kids to Choose a Lifestyle of Worship
Your turn. What ways have you found effective in keeping the lines of communication open with your kids?